Glenn Tiffert

Visiting Fellow

Glenn Tiffert, a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2015-2017, he was the Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in Residence at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he also held faculty appointments in the History Department and Asian Languages & Cultures Department, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses on modern China. He has taught at Berkeley, Harvard, and UCLA, and currently serves on the Projects and Proposals Committee of the American Society for Legal History.

Glenn’s research interests center on 20th century China, particularly its experience of revolution. At the vanguard among scholars of modern Chinese legal history, he has published works in English and Chinese on the construction of the modern Chinese court system and judiciary, the drafting of the 1954 PRC Constitution, the legacies of Nationalist judicial modernization to the PRC, and the hidden genealogy of current PRC legal policy. He is now completing a book manuscript that radically disrupts received wisdom about the 1949 revolution and the PRC’s place in Chinese history via the first archival study in any language of the takeover and reconstitution of Beijing’s Nationalist courts by the Chinese Communist Party.

Glenn is also pioneering the integration of computational methods drawn from data science into the study of Chinese history. Using China as an illustrative case, his latest research empirically documents the alarming synergies between digitization, intellectual property law, censorship, and authoritarianism, and exposes how emerging technologies could spur Orwellian manipulation of the historical record and memory on a global scale.

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Recent Commentary

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Turning Scholars into Unpersons

by Glenn Tiffertvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

China is determined to tell its story on its own highly selective terms. How the People’s Republic has updated Orwell’s “memory hole” by making it electronic.

Hearing on The Long Arm of China: Exporting Authoritarianism With Chinese Characteristics

by Glenn Tiffertvia Congressional-Executive Commission on China
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

This hearing will examine the Chinese government’s foreign influence operations intended to censor critical discussion of its history and human rights record and to intimidate critics of its repressive policies. Attempts by the Chinese government to guide, buy, or coerce political influence and control discussion of “sensitive” topics are pervasive, and pose serious challenges in the United States and globally, particularly as China uses technology and the lure of the Chinese market to impose authoritarian practices abroad.